Orthognathic surgery means surgery of the jaws. In some very complex cases, using braces and moving the teeth alone is not sufficient to achieve a result that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional. This is because the fault lies with the positions of the upper and lower jaws. Hence, the jaws need to be moved with surgery in order for the teeth and jaws to fit into the face and produce the desired results.
More commonly, it is adults who require orthognathic treatment as there is no active growth that can be harnessed to guide the jaws. Some adolescents with severe jaw discrepancies may also need such surgery.
When the jaws are not in the right positions, there can be biting and chewing problems, tooth-wear, discomfort and also aesthetic issues. Most patients who undergo orthognathic treatment are satisfied with the outcome and tend to report a better quality of life after having such treatment.
Of course, there are risks involved in all surgical procedures. The jaw surgery itself is carried out by a Specialist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. Therefore, your treatment will be very closely coordinated between your Orthodontist and the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. Both the Orthodontist and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon will be able to discuss the risks pertaining to various aspects of such treatment. Do not hesitate to ask any questions that you may have about the processes and risks involved as you need to feel confident that you are making the right decision about your treatment.